Uber, a driver service that allows users to request rides via smart phone app, seems to be gaining popularity all over the country. Uber in a nutshell:
1. Pull up the Uber app on your iPhone or Android phone.
2. Your GPS locates you and tells you approximately how far away the nearest driver is.
3. Select car choice (choose from compact, black car or SUV)
At this time, Uber cannot be pre-booked.
When Uber launches in a new city, they do go all out with promotions to get new riders. In certain cities, they offer a credit, as much as $40 to try out their car service. Armed with a credit we decided to test out Uber.
Staying at the Ritz-Carlton, we had a dinner reservation less than 3 miles away. Getting the car was efficient, we received a text confirmation once the request was put through. The Uber driver seemed to know the route to the restaurant from the hotel but then drove right past it. We spotted it and reminded him to turn around. Cost: $18.
Once the ride is complete, riders get a receipt via mobile app. No cash changes hands ever as a credit card is linked to your account, which is charged when the ride is complete. On the plus side, tipping is included in the price as well.
Black car vs. ugly Cab
No cash transactions
Ease of use to get car
The drive back to the hotel was abysmal. Our Uber driver either wasn’t at all familiar with ATL or “taking us for a ride.” The loud GPS should have been the most horrible thing, but it wasn’t. The horrible music we were subjected to was worse. Sunday night and no traffic with a total of 2.40 miles to travel. For whatever reason, the driver took a longer route which ended up being 3.3 miles. Cost: $25.
The difference in cost for both Uber rides is nearly a 30% increase in price. Thank goodness we had the credit (which covered all but $3), otherwise we would have been quite peeved at the cost.
All in all, I think the idea of Uber is fantastic, however, Uber needs to work on their execution.